G20: The Second meeting of the G20 Anti-corruption Working Group was inaugurated on May 25 by Union Minister of State for Defence & Tourism Ajay Bhatt and concluded Saturday in Rishikesh (Tehri).
The meeting had wide participation from 90 delegates of 20 member countries, 10 Invitee countries and 9 International Organisations including UNODC, OECD, Egmont Group, INTERPOL and IMF. It was chaired by Rahul Singh, Additional Secretary, DoPT & Chair, G20 ACWG and co-chaired by Giovanni Tartaglia Polcini, Head of Task Force, Co-chair, G20 ACWG, Italy and Fabrizio Marcelli, Minister Plenipotentiary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italy.
Over the past three days, there have been intensive and productive deliberations on several key focal areas pertaining to Asset recovery, Fugitive economic offenders, formal and informal channels of cooperation for information sharing, institutional frameworks for combating corruption and mutual legal assistance, among others. The delegates agreed upon the three High-Level Principles on ‘Promoting Integrity and effectiveness of Public Bodies and Authorities responsible for Preventing and Combating Corruption’; ‘Strengthening Law Enforcement related International Cooperation and Information Sharing for Combating Corruption’ and ‘Strengthening Asset Recovery Mechanisms related to Corruption’.
On the first day of the ACWG, a unique Side Event was held on ‘Gender and Corruption’. Hon’ble Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture, Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi delivered the keynote address. During this event, national and international experts and practitioners deliberated on the gendered aspects of corruption, the ways in which women’s empowerment is intrinsically linked with anti-corruption initiatives and the need for gender-sensitive governance and policymaking.
The delegates got a flavour of India’s rich culture, heritage and cuisine during their stay at Rishikesh. India looks forward eagerly to hosting the delegates again at Kolkata from August 9-11 for the Third ACWG meeting. India will also host the first-ever in-person Anti-Corruption Ministerial Meeting to provide further impetus to the G20 agenda of bolstering the international fight against corruption.